Attorney General files lawsuit over new Affordable Care Act transgender rule

Published: Aug. 23, 2016 at 10:21 PM CDT
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DENISON, Texas -- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed his 13th lawsuit Tuesday against the Obama administration, this time over a redefinition of the word "sex."

Paxton spoke Tuesday night in Denison at the Texoma Patriots meeting.

He said last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implemented a new rule interpreting "sex" as a state of mind, not a biological fact determined at birth.

He said this expanded the list of procedures that doctors have to perform under the Affordable Care Act.

"So changing sex changes. It's putting pressure on doctors to do things against their own conscious and things they may not think are medically necessary," Paxton said.

Paxton is suing the administration over the new definition. He said the Obama Administration is now trying to redefine the law so that the term “sex” means ones’ “internal sense of gender which may be male, female, neither or a combination of male and female.”

"Similar to the bathroom guidelines, they redefined the word "sex" and it broadened the definition outside of what congress intended," Paxton said.

"So the reason we are suing is because we think there is federal overreach here."

Cheryle Howard, who lives in Denison, said this topic hits close to home and she disagrees with Paxton.

"I'm born the way I am, and I'm happy that way, I just don't do everything quote-on-quote the way gender is supposed to do," Howard said.

"But everybody has the right to use your insurance to cover your needs for who you are."

Texoma Patriots Coordinator Kaaren Teuber said she doesn't want her taxpayer dollars spent on someone's sex change.

"Biologically, we are born the way we are," Teuber said. "If people want sex changes, then they pay for it."

In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said, "The people of Texas will not let the state make transgender Texans into second-class citizens... Texas is better than this. This is not who we are."

Paxton said presidential power is to implement the law, not create it. He is now seeking a trial date to stop the action from going forward.